One of the Montgolfier brothers, French aeronautical inventors, 1784.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Caricature print showing a 'Montgolfier in the Clouds', fantasising about the glory he will bring to his country. Jacques-Etienne (1745-1799) and Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) Montgolfier were born at Balaruc-les-Bains in France, the sons of a wealthy paper-manufacturer. They first attracted public attention with their ballooning experiments. In June 1783 they succeeded in lifting a balloon over 6000 feet from the ground, which travelled over a distance of one and a half miles (km). Then on 21 November 1783, the Montgolfiers staged the first manned free flight from the Chateau de la Muette in the Bois de Boulogne, France. Ballooning rapidly spread throughout Europe, and hot-air balloons were known as 'Montgolfiers' after their original inventors. Published by S Fores of London on 2 March 1784.